Superman is going to reveal his secret identity to the public in a comic book story to have ongoing ramifications across the DC Universe.
In an interview with the New York Times, Superman writer Brian Michael Bendis said he’s been planning this event since we was brought on to DC Comics two years ago. Bendis says he wanted to make this change “because behind it is 1,000 brand-new Superman stories that have never been told.”
And that’s true. The secret identity has been a staple of the superhero genre since Superman’s first appearance in 1938, allowing our heroes to live a “normal life” away from the celebrity of their alter ego while protecting friends and family from supervillain reprisals.
It’s also spawned a million debates on who is the “real” identity: Clark Kent or Superman.
Big status quo shifts rarely hold in comics. (DC tried a similar move in 2015 that was retconned in about a year.) So you’ll have to forgive a bit of skepticism on the part of longtime readers who’ve seen these stunts year and year, complete with assurances that, no, really, this time it’ll stick.
Who knows what a Superman-without-secret-identity will look like, and there are rumors of even greater shake-ups to come. It would be nice to think we’re headed for a new DC Universe so different that the publisher will ultimately offer an ongoing “classic” line as well.
It all begins in Superman no. 18, in comic shops December 11th.